No spade work done on big building plan


Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“This was National’s bold new idea to tackle the Auckland housing crisis. But as with so many of National’s housing policies it has been hastily cobbled together and is likely to have little impact.

“We understand from official sources that the only way you can get to that kind of land holding is by including land currently used for a range of public purposes – far more than the reserves and DOC land current cited by the Government.

“It seems Nick Smith’s so-called audit of government-owned land in Auckland, zoned residential and with little or no improved value, was no more than a hasty desk search. It includes sites being used by Government agencies that are completely inappropriate for residential development.

“The Minister will be lucky if one-quarter of the land can be built on.

“Nick Smith has trumpeted his meeting with developers on Thursday in an effort to make it look as if the building is about to begin. It will be interesting to see how he explains exactly where all this land is.

“Nick Smith should release his list of building sites so the public can assess whether his plan is real or just a knee-jerk reaction.

“John Key and his Government have stood by while the housing crisis spiralled out of control. Stung into action by the Reserve Bank’s criticism, this plan and National’s tax on speculators have both turned out to be duds,” Phil Twyford says.